41 Deaths from Ebola in Congo; Health Officials ‘Worried’
An ongoing Ebola outbreak is spreading across the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province, and it has health officials gravely concerned due to conflict in the area along with other factors.
The country’s Ministry of Health announced Monday that 57 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been reported in the region: 30 confirmed and 27 probable.
The outbreak has left 41 people dead, according to the World Health Organization.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited the city of Beni and the Mangina area in North Kivu. Mangina, which is about 30 kilometers or 19 miles from Beni, sits at the epicenter of the outbreak.
“After the visit, I am actually more worried,” Tedros said at a news conference Tuesday.
“What makes actually the outbreak in eastern DRC or northern Kivu more dangerous is, there is a security challenge. There is active conflict in that area. Since January, there were 120 violent incidences,” he said.
Thousands in the region have been displaced by fighting between rebel groups and government forces.
“That environment is really conducive for Ebola actually to transmit freely, because in that area, there are places called red zones, inaccessible areas, because there are many armed groups that operate in that region or in that province,” he said.